How to break the taboos surrounding menstruation

A comment by a ‘swami’ on menstruating women evoked quite a lot of hullabaloo all over the internet. Even though it’s a biological process the taboos pertaining to menstruation have exited time and again. Here are some views shared by the masses on how to eradicate the taboo.

1. Marina Lallawmawmi, Meghalaya

It is quite regretful to have to even address the topic of menstruation as a taboo in this day and age where we have, as a species, surpassed ancientness through our progressive triumphs in science and technology. The issue of menstruation as a taboo is a deep and sad one, especially in our country. Statistics tell us that over 60 per cent of girls and women do not have access to sanitary napkins. Moreover, notwithstanding living in a fairly urban region, menstruation is still something approached with trepidation in conversations. One might only imagine how it is addressed in rural regions with horrific stories occasionally rearing its head. But as with all taboos, a taboo ceases to be one when we involve extensive dialogue. The more we talk about it, the less it becomes a hush-hush subject. As an imperative step, I have been refusing sanitary pads in newspaper wraps from shops because I have nothing to hide. Women and girls as victims of this tabooing, should step up and engage in myth-busting whenever faced with mistreatment. I believe the scene is gradually improving with various NGOs organizing awareness programmes and the government’s concessions on purchase of sanitary napkins. The people who make controversial and ill-informed remarks, thankfully, receive backlash. Hopefully, in the coming days, more and more people would view menstruation as a boon rather than a curse.

2. Ranjini Sachin, Bangalore

My dad is a doctor, while I was growing up everything physiological was just that, eating, sleeping, periods, breathing. Getting my period was as ordinary a day, as any. “I think I got my period”, “ok, go get a pad, we need to leave”, was all my parents said. I had known for a year what to expect, nothing came as a surprise! And it has always stayed that way, never a topic to hide, it was routine! I have now raised my daughter like that too. A normal conversation at the dining table with grandparents will easily go to, “I had my period, so chose not to swim today!” …..the day, menstruation is seen as something as basic as breathing, , the day people can talk about it without hesitation, the day everyone sees it as a routine activity, like eating, the day it is no longer an issue to be hidden, the day education, respect and common sense prevails over all….we will break the taboo around MESTRUATION! We all just need to openly talk about it at home, at work, with the maid, driver, shopkeeper, uncle, neighbor…..everyone! Make is inconsequential!